“If you’re forming a startup, there are generally two kinds of stories to choose from about what the startup is for. Keep in mind that startups are companies that are trying to take over some subsection of the world. It’s ambitious stuff, so they tend to take on lots of early investment. They get somebody to give them a lot of money so they can hit the market with disproportionate force. And in order to pay that investment back, they need what’s called an “exit,” which usually comes in two forms: You’re either acquired by a larger company or you go public, selling your company on a market where people can trade your shares based on their speculations about what it’s worth. In both cases, you’re passing the company that you’ve worked to build off to new owners, who in turn might be buying it just to convince future buyers to pay even more for it later. It’s a weirdly normal pyramid scheme of capitalism.
What if there were another way? What if a startup that successfully builds a community could opt for an exit to ownership by that community?”
This is a fascinating read: Exit To Community, by Nathan Schneider